Despite silly moniker and surrealist marketing blurb, Knog's Pig Dog 15.5 is one of the finest town satchels I've come across in a very long time. It's not a messenger sack but a sophisticated, urbane bag made from pillow-soft 1200 denier cotton duck complete with taped seams and extended flaps to keep the elements out and your precious cargo bone dry. Well organised without feeling overly regimented, its 24-litre capacity borders on kitchen sink territory but is tempered by tactile webbed shoulder and 3d sternum straps. My only minor gripe concerns the £95 asking price but classic civilian styling means like a well-mannered friend, it can be taken pretty much anywhere.
Our Stone sample has a really contemporary, yet distinctly timeless feel and beautiful detailing throughout. This begins with the huge belt n' braces storm flap secured by Velcro and two ratcheted straps. Opening this reveals a series of six orderly compartments running side by side like a row of terraced houses with stash-points for everything, although I was relieved to discover sections were not already mapped out for my pens, A5 notebook, keys, biro collection, spare tubes, multi tool, phone etc. It's literally tardis like-some have open tops; others mesh with zippers-there's even pockets integrated within the lining for MP3/Ipod/Compact cameras/MP3 players and similarly vulnerable gizmos.
The laptop section sits mid terrace and is a far cry from cheap sleeves- resembling a mini pig-dog with it's generously padded base, storm-flap top closure and super tactile anti scratch lining protecting anything up to a 15.5 inch laptop from torrential downpour, everyday carelessness and prying eyes. Speaking of which, the bag's external wall that rests against the body incorporates a zippered pocket, making it relatively difficult to access but means Johnny scrote the bag dipper will have a job too.
A pronounced lack of airflow can result in a sweaty back on long, vigorous commutes during warmer weather but otherwise it sits obediently like a well-trained collie. Honking up the climbs fully laden or breaking away from the traffic light grand prix,webbed shoulder and sternum straps distribute weight evenly and effectively, eliminating annoying sway. Daily service has made no impression upon the cotton duck, despite brushes with brickwork, buses, foliage and other casual neglect but it rapidly absorbs and retains moisture, adding to the overall weight. Despite this, contents have remained perfectly dry without recourse to the time honoured bin liners even under sustained attack from the garden hose.
Available in a choice of black, stone or lime colour schemes.
Beautifully designed and executed satchel but style doesn't come cheap.
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Make and model: Knog Pig Dog 15.5
Size tested: 15.5in
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"The PIG DOG has room for a pig and a dog. An extra tough padded 'no fleck' laptop sleeve horizontally fits laptops up to 15.5". There are pockets for your mp3, phone, pda or bike tools, internal organiser pockets and a zippered rear pocket. Anti scratch lining seals it all in.
BIG and last forever tough removable hardware allows you to wear the PIG DOG left and right handed. Its pillow soft to the touch 74mm wide adjustable strap comfortably and evenly distributes weight. A 3D sternum strap keeps your PIG DOG right where it should be. And keeping it like it is - an urban pig. Simple".
Superbly designed everyday urban bag.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Handmade water resistant construction using heavy weight waxed cotton canvas or super tough 1200D fabric. Nip and tuck 'ears' on the flap help keep dust and water out, 3D sternum strap.
Very well made.
Reassuringly solid 1468g
Delightfully soft - I've slept on mine, but lack of airflow can lead to sweaty back worn for prolonged periods in hot weather.
Fair, rather than outstanding value, the price is around par for the course for this sort of back from a trendy brand, on the flip side, I'm confident it will pass the test of time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Pig-dog has been a delight to test with excellent manners whether riding fast and furious through town or steadily on extended rural commutes. Black would be my preference for everyday city riding since reflectives proliferate the stitching, although our khaki sample looks anything but jaded and the outer storm flap provides a sturdy and convenient anchor point for LEDs/similar illumination.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Old boots tough construction, great town manners,enormous capacity and sharp, timeless style.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although a little pricey perhaps.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, depending on their budget.
Age: 37 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)